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  • Writer's pictureAwatif Yahya

Getting Ready for Annual Performance Reviews

Most organizations conduct an annual review to compile their team’s efforts into a year-end performance report. This is in addition to check-in meetings that happen regularly throughout the year.

As we approach that time of the year, and in preparation for the “big talk” with your manager, it is advisable to set aside some time to go over your 2023 SMART goals and make sure you are satisfied with the achievements you can demonstrate.

This final task of the year should not take long, especially if you have been keeping track of your progress throughout the year. It should not bring up any surprises or highlight flight-risks. It is merely a checking exercise to make sure you have dotted all your i’s and crossed all your t’s for the work assigned to you.

In this blog, we offer six tips to help you prepare for your annual performance review and showcase your achievements with confidence:

1. Document Everything

If you documented your achievements against each goal throughout the year, your annual review should be easy. If not, don’t panic. Allocate some time now to document all the work you completed using date/time stamps, statistics, challenges you have overcome, and resources you have used. Make sure to include records of any feedback, thank-you notes and praises from peers and customers.

2. Alignment (Line-of-Sight)

Link all your achievements to the company strategy and organizational hierarchy. Your goals should align with your manager’s goals and upward all the way to the goals of the company’s CEO. In the HR world, this is known as Line-of -Sight (LoS).

3. Tangibles and Intangibles

Focus on tangible outcomes as well as intangibles. Intangibles can include behavioral aspects, teamwork, compliance with company values, relationship building, conflict resolution and customer service.

4. Structured Templates

Use a structured template to report your achievements. If your company does not have a standard review template, build one for yourself. Use whatever technology you are comfortable with.

5. Link to Your Development

Highlight personal learnings and development needs. This will demonstrate your maturity, eagerness to learn and ownership of your personal development. If you know of a particular training you wish to take, make note of it and mention it during the annual review meeting with your manager. Orient your review around ways to enhance your performance and become even better.

6. Look Forward

Start thinking of what you would like to do in 2024 and beyond; the projects you would like to be involved in and teams you wish to work with. Think about the contributions you can bring to your department and organization as a whole. Taking this step to layout your long-term vision will guarantee your career will take a path most aligned with your personal aspirations.


I take this opportunity to wish you a strong finish to 2023 and a successful outlook to the new year.

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